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Hedge Knight

Hedge Knight (5/8)

  1. I believe there's substantial proof pointing towards the presence of an ancient caldera, and each maneuver in Waymar's duel can be reasonably argued to possibly be mirrored by the “white shadow”. This evidence, collectively, would form a very compelling argument for what I’m suggesting, irrespective of any alternative theories. And any more evidence would likely push the idea beyond a reasonable doubt. Will’s perception is wrong about nearly everything. - They weren’t “hard on the track of a band of Wildling raiders” -The bodies Will saw weren’t frozen or even dead. - He misinterprets Ser Waymar’s dance. - He’s mistaken about the “cold butchery” -And he’s confused about Waymar’s resurrection.
  2. Again I haven’t spent to much time analyzing the Samwell 1 chapter of ASOS but I thought of ice spiders when I read this: I thought maybe the horse that Sam sees is analogous to Sleipnir, Odin's eight-legged horse. And the blue glow is moonlight with waves that are a specific part of the visible light spectrum. Blue light waves have shorter wavelengths and higher energy compared to other colors of light, such as red or yellow. Blue light is also scattered more easily than other colors, which is why the sky appears blue during the day. Moonlight does not actually glow blue; it appears to be blue to our eyes due to a phenomenon called Rayleigh scattering. Rayleigh scattering is the scattering of light by particles in the atmosphere. When moonlight passes through the Earth's atmosphere, the shorter blue wavelengths of light are scattered more efficiently than the longer red wavelengths. This scattering effect causes the blue light to be more prominent in the moonlight that reaches our eyes, giving the impression that moonlight has a bluish hue. In reality, moonlight is reflected sunlight, and its color is actually a very pale yellow or white, depending on the moon's phase.
  3. I’m “not the first”. Who are the others? I’d love to connect with them. I haven’t met anyone who has made these discoveries. The validation would feel refreshing Of course it’s only Waymar bathed in the moonlight standing before the “great rock”. The “watchers” only “emerged silently from the shadows”. They are only thought to be “twins to the first” not “shadows”. It needs to be pointed out that, “the first” is not the “white shadow” (Waymar’s reflection). The “woman up an ironwood, half-hid in the branches” is “the first” that Will is thinking of in that moment. The description of the “watchers” with the shifting patterns of delicate armor making them all but invisible in the wood, looking half-hid in branches, is what he’s remembering. So there are six that he’s counting in his head, “three of them…four…five…”, plus the one he’s remembering in the ironwood. The reason Ser Waymar never saw them, never heard them is because they were silent and imperceptible in the shadows. Only some things bathed in the light of the moon can be perceived in the black obsidian mirror. And there’s no funhouse-one “great” wall. Mirror, mirror on the wall who’s the fairest (most handsome) of them all? Waymar? [A magic mirror inspired by Snow White] The two disembodied white masks (Waymar’s moonlit face and his reflection) symbolize the comedy and tragedy masks of the performing arts. Of course Waymar is the cocksure laughing fool and his distorted reflection is the weeping tragic hero [weeping wall]. Cloaked by his “sable crowning glory” his body is invisible at first. [A cloak of invisibility] He will “emerge from the dark of the wood” a few moments later. Waymar’s longsword, a personification of him, makes him a symbolic sword in the stone. Magic mirrors, magic swords, and invisible cloaks are all themes being laid out by Martin in the Prologue. Obsidian glass is translucent the thinner it gets. The Wall, “great rock” is thick. And the Other’s longsword, the reflection of Waymar’s longsword, was sticky with sap after butchering all of those saplings along the way. His repeated strikes against the massive stone wall creates micro-shards of obsidian that sticks to his blades making it come alive with moonlight and appear pale blue. The reason it seemed almost to vanish when seen edge-on is because it no captures the moonlight at certain angles. Yes!!! Waymar and the “white shadow” are two sides of the same coin. And lastly, the “watchers” are the CotF.
  4. Despite numerous attempts, I struggled to succinctly organize my thoughts in a creative and comprehensive manner to provide a thorough analysis of the Prologue. This led me into a cycle of endless revisions.… But I can better now respond to you questions:) It seems obvious that Martin’s coy use of the term “ice” is his way of avoiding the answer. In fact, the substance that I’m suggesting is obsidian is perceived by Will to sound like sharp icicles when he closes his eyes and listens to the voices and laughter of the “watchers”. The sound that he’s actually hearing is the broken shards of volcanic glass (“rain of needles”) surrounding Ser Waymar Royce on the ground. The moment is an inverse parallel to Waymar being “outlined nobly against the stars” as he gains the ridge. The watchers are stepping on the shards and making those sounds. Black glittering glass (stars) against the white snow (black sky). He literally is using ice as a metaphor for “frozen fire”.
  5. Indeed, the beauty of a prologue lies in our authors’ ability to subtly place all the necessary clues within the confines of the chapter. Like a puzzle, each piece is placed one at a time with each scrap of plausible evidence adding to the larger picture until the evidence is sufficient to push a theory beyond any reasonable doubt. My search for evidence o regarding the ancient caldera came after being able explain how every move Ser Waymar Royce is mirrored in the “great rock”. It stood to reason that for a large piece of obsidian, a black mirror, to exist there must be a volcano. Martin's adherence to a strict point of view approach makes it conveniently difficult for the reader to fully comprehend everything happening in the series. Many times he doesn’t allow himself to state things directly. The rugged ridge, populated densely with vegetation, rising to a slender peak, served as an initial hint. However, due to Will's straight-on view of the ridge, the round contour of the peak is not immediately apparent. It is only when Will ceases his ascent of the tree, “he listened; he watched”, that a faint suggestion of the ridge's shape is made evident. It’s through Martin's use of some clever imagery that we can see it. Like the moon (another small hint) above undulating ridge of the caldera’s far side the crater is seemingly covered half in shadow. We have Ser Waymar Royce, dressed in all black, turning in a slow circle against the icy backdrop of a snow-covered ridge bathed in moonlight. On the Other side, “a (white) shadow emerged from the dark of the wood”. Now Will doesn’t see the “white shadow” turning in a slow circle because he’s watching Waymar in the moment that the imagery of the Yin/Yang symbol becomes complete. The undulating far side ridge gives the shadow its “s” curve. However, the clues don't end there. There's also auditory evidence to consider. There are specific sounds that Will both hears and doesn't hear. The echo that reverberates "too loudly in the twilit forest" (dead...dead...dead) may hint at the threats of a potentially active volcano and could, at the very least, suggests the presence of a nearby crater. While this clue may seem weak when isolated, when paired with the low-frequency sound waves that the rangers simultaneously perceive, it substantiates the evidence considerably. Low-frequency sound waves, or infrasound, often linked with seismic activity, have been closely connected with paranormal phenomena. This is due to the resonant frequency of the human eye and its purported interference with theta brain waves. The discovery of this phenomenon was triggered by the shivering of a sword, similar to Arya's "needle". In the Prologue, ones discovery could be brought about by Waymar's trembling longsword. This low frequency sound wave is also known as the “fear frequency” or the “brown note” which would describe “a nervous tension that came perilous close to fear” and how Will’s “bowels had turned to water”. This place is special to the CotF, who use the Wall, “great rock”, for scrying. The wordplay plays like this…. Of course if we substitute another word for (s) weeping, “crying”, we get scrying which is a form of divination using a black mirrors. There’s more evidence and more to tell but ultimately…..For example, what makes a destrier (infrasound) and why the wind seemingly stops for Waymar (He’s in a crater) ….”Winter is coming.
  6. There are numerous similarities between these two chapters. Despite having largely developed my thoughts on the Prologue of AGOT, I've not done as much with this particular chapter. But hear are some examples of interesting parallels. This from ASOS, Samwell 1: Can you recall the moment when Will is up in a vaulting grey-green sentinel tree, watching “pale shapes” gliding through the wood, as Ser Waymar Royce calls out suddenly? The "uncertainty" in his voice arose from the fact that he didn't see anyone; he just heard a noise. This is the passage from the Prologue of AGOT where Waymar issues the same challenge as Grenn: The sound that Ser Waymar Royce perceives, is the same as what Grenn and Sam heard. Will, however, never hears the faint noise, even though he is the one who made it while attempting to call down a warning upon spotting the "pale shapes" reflected by the sapphire jewels adorning the hilt of Ser Waymar Royce's longsword. Will's dirk slips from his mouth, causing the branches of the sentinel tree to shed their burden of snow with a "plop!" Thus, the initial usage of the term "Others" in the series occurs when Will presumes that Ser Waymar Royce has noticed somebody or something. These 'Others' are merely figments of Will's imagination. He neither heard nor saw them. Here is the relevant line: After turning his head, Will does glimpse a “white shadow” in the darkness as Ser Waymar Royce turns in a slow circle, suddenly wary. The point I'm trying to make is that these two scenes share many similarities that help to interpret and/or corroborate the realities of the others' scene. The "plop" sound shed light on the situation with the dirk, since Will doesn't seem to realize that he drops it. I theorize that the slow-burning torch, with its tree sap fuel, subtly alludes to the (sap+fire) gems on the hilt of Waymar’s longsword. He also has sap on his blade from unnecessarily butchering of the saplings along the way. Later in the scene, his blade appears alive with moonlight (a reflection of the fire of the sun). Do you remember towards the end of the Prologue scene in AGOT, when Waymar's sword hilt is described as being "splintered and twisted like a tree struck by lightning"? And the breaking of a blade is likened to a "rain of needles". Well, the shattering of blades into "a hundred brittle pieces" and a twisted piece of splintered steel depict two distinct types of damage. One is the result of a sword striking a "great rock", while the other is akin to the shattering of glass. The "tree struck by lightning" is a metaphor for Waymar’s sword hilt, with the lightning symbolizing the impact of the Others’ sword. So Grenn holding a torch struck by a sword moving “lightning quick” would seem to be a nice parallel to Waymar’s sword. From ASOS, Samwell 1: Noteworthy: The swords are personifications of those wielding them. And I agree with https://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/profile/24553-black-crow/:
  7. I acknowledge that the concept of "the great rock" being obsidian appears, at best, to be grounded in circumstantial evidence and heavily dependent on the lack of perspective by Will, our viewpoint character. But if we assume that Will is unreliable as a narrator and evaluate the things he feels, sees, and hears and apply common logic than I believe these conclusions become very rational. For instance, it's entirely plausible that the shattering sword isn't Waymar's longsword, which is later discovered to be twisted, "twisted like a tree struck by lightning". A longsword, bent and broken, twisted couldn’t be very “brittle”. However, glass on the other hand is brittle:) Notice we never read any more about the other sword. In fact, Martin’s use of a tree and lightning as metaphors to describe the dueling swords is likely another hint. One being “splintered” and able to bend; and the Other sword being made of light. A glass shard would explain the blind white pupil of Waymar’s left eye; and how the pale sword inexplicably bit through Waymar’s ringmail. I understand the text clearly gives us Will’s perspective but he's readily proven to be unreliable. From his perspective, most readers also fail to realize that Waymar descends into the crater of an ancient volcano. Evidence for this is the ridge they ascend and descend along with the strange feelings caused by the low frequency sound waves from the now active caldera. The echoes early in the chapter are also a small hint to this terrestrial phenomenon. An ancient volcano would be great evidence for the existence of volcanic glass. The tale, myth, of The Last Hero gives some vague accounts of a very similar event, I agree. In fact, it has helped me with my investigation of the text as well. It helped me discover the presence of the CotF. Before this post gets too long, I wanted to thank you for your thoughtful responses. You’ve pushed my thinking and helped me to clarify some of these ideas. Please do continue:)
  8. Well the rock with a “lean-to” against it has to be some type of rock. And there are many things not explicitly stated. - we are not explicitly told that Waymar’s longsword is sticky with sap - we are not explicitly told that the saplings Waymar butchered tore his cloak. - we are not explicitly told what happens to Will’s dirk. Martin’s writing, a strict character point of view, offers a deep and intimate exploration of the inner world for each character; however, it also comes with limitations in terms of perspective, objectivity, and world-building. Through the Prologue, we get our first introduction to Will, gaining a view into his past as well as a sense of his inner feelings and thoughts. However, our understanding of the narrative is skewed and limited by his perspective. And I would disagree that the author doesn’t suggest a black mirror. In fact, each dramatic deed of Ser Waymar Royce in the mirror can be scrutinized to reveal the possible dual and reflective nature of both him and the “white shadow” by conducting a paragraph by paragraph analysis of the moves. For example, injured and exhausted while swinging a sword in a flat sidearm slash with all of one’s weight behind it could easily be perceived as a parry being “almost lazy”. And if you disagree I would politely challenge you to find a set of moves that are in complete contrast. Furthermore, I believe it's incorrect to assume that the sole purpose of the chapter is to acquaint us with the White Walkers. It's possible that one of our author's intentions is to instill a sense of the prevalent superstitions in the world he's crafting. Regarding your final point about illusions... isn't that precisely what an illusion is? It's something that misleads by creating a false or distorted perception of reality. However, he has left some hints:) The peculiar sensations that Will experiences are akin to those generated by infrasound, similar to that from an ancient, freshly active caldera. I really hope that before the series concludes, he finally unveils what transpired in the Prologue of A Game of Thrones:) I hope my response doesn't unintentionally offend in any way:) I appreciate your willingness to challenge the previous comments:) It's actually the challenges presented in this discussion that have motivated me to further refine my thoughts and articulate them more clearly. I would be happy to delve deeper into the specifics of what is unfolding in this chapter.
  9. I like that you highlight the fact that ‘it's 'the dark' which Ser Waymar suggests as the emasculating figure’. This makes me think about the primordial abyss or darkness of chaos in Greek Mythology. It’s where Gaia (Earth) procured the adamant [diamond, ice(slang)] sickle to castrate Uranus. In the Prologue I posited that the metaphorical icicles (ice+sickle) of voices and laughter that Will hears are shards of obsidian surrounding Ser Waymar Royce. There’s a moment at the top of the ridge that helps to support or validate this conclusion. (As above; so below) The moment at the top of the ridge when Ser Waymar Royce is outlined nobly against the stars inversely parallels Ser Waymar Royce outlined on his knees in the snow surrounded by sparkling black glass shards. Those metaphorical icicles aren’t voices or laughter. They are the shards being stepped on by the approaching watchers (Will had his eye closed when he heard those shards being stepped on). To me, the shards being from the darkness of the “great rock” (a large volcanic rock) rhymes with the adamant sickle from the primordial abyss. Waymar, in the crater of an ancient caldera, created those shards with his repeated hits against the black mirror (obsidian). I believe ”Ice” made of Valyrian steel likely gets its name from that adamant [diamond, ice(slang)] sickle. And, as you point out, Gared and Theon are associated. Theon is the one who brought forth “Ice” and Gared loses his head with “Ice”. I can’t help but think that Gared’s blood spraying out over the snow rhymes with Uranus’ blood spilled from his castration.
  10. This would also lend more evidence to Waymar fighting his own reflection in an obsidian mirror and the “cold butchering” being a misperception by Will. The cloak is his and the shards of dragonglass are from the black mirror he fought against.
  11. The blue eyes seen in the Prologue of AGOT are actually sapphire gems set in the guard and pommel of Ser Waymar Royce’s longsword. Will's misinterpretation of the "white shadow" and the seemingly Otherized Waymar are a demonstration of how fear can warp one’s sense of reality. Consumed by terror, unable to speak, Will is overwhelmed by his own immobilizing fear. His mind struggles to decipher the jewels on the hilt of Ser Waymar Royce’s longsword from the supernatural eyes conjured in the shadowy corners of his subconscious. His belief that he's experiencing something otherworldly poses a question to his reliability as our narrator. It’s no coincidence that on the two occasions that Will observes the blue eyes, Waymar's hilt is literally close in hand. In fact, the only thing separating the blue eyes and the jewels on the hilt of Ser Waymar Royce’s blade is his state of mind. His narrow perspective and flawed reasoning leave both him and us vulnerable and susceptible to the formation some very irrational conclusions. The eyes burn with a blue, deeper and bluer than any human eyes. It’s a blue that burns like ice. A perfect description for a sapphire, yet we are reading about the set of blue eyes belonging to the "Other” and the last thing Will sees before closing his eyes to pray. Similar to Gared’s eyes, with a “hard glitter”, gems and eyes appear to be closely associated at the onset of ASOIAF. Recalling the first glitter to catch Will’s eye, we see through Will the “jewels” ‘fixed on the hilt of Ser Waymar Royce’s longsword’’. It’s no coincidence that the next line following the first description of the blue eyes is about the longsword. The same thing happens with the line following the sighting of the third blue eye. It’s about “the broken sword”. The same patter exists with the only mention of Gared’s eyes. And again it persists with Waymar’s eyes. However, this time it should be noted that it’s a figurative “knife” or a simile directly describing Ser Waymar Royce’s build. So it might be appropriate for Waymar’s actual “knife” to somehow represent a pair of figurative eyes, right? Unbeknown to Will, Waymar is unwittingly standing at the precipice of a colossal obsidian mirror (the great rock), intensely focused on the reflection of his own sword. His face, reflective under the moonlight, appears gaunt with hollow sockets. In the opening moments of Waymar’s “dance” Will dares to hope. Waymar’s pose presents his challenge, “Dance with me then”. The two sapphire gems, one at each end on the actual guard of his sword hilt, are momentarily paused and overlaying the shadowy orbital cavities of his reflection, the “white shadow”. The trembling of Waymar’s blade amplifies the sapphire brilliance on the guard. The blur of their blue glow is made more intense, brighter than any human eyes. With the blade raised above his head, the wrist of his moleskin glove hides the large sapphire on the pommel, keeping it out of Will's view. Will observes the Other, Waymar’s reflection, as it halts. Its gaze, mirroring Waymar’s, appears “fixed” upon Ser Waymar Royce’s actual longsword. The term "fixed" in this context leaves room for an additional layer of interpretation that’ll challenge our initial comprehension of the phrase. "Fixed” does more than just depict the unyielding stare; it also delineates the physical location of the jewels (or eyes) as being on the sword's hilt. These jewels (sapphires) are yet "fixed” to the hilt of the longsword, seemingly revealing their true nature. This revelation adds real depth to our narrative. These eyes, with a measure of certainty, are the jewels of Ser Waymar Royce’s longsword, temporarily filling the dark and empty ocular space of the “white shadow’s” eyes. Later, a single blue eye is juxtaposed with Ser Waymar Royce’s wounded left eye. Will had discovered the hilt of Waymar's sword amidst the scattered pieces of splintered glass. As he closely examines it, he notices its twisted shape. But the fiery sapphire gem brings to mind a chilling resemblance to the white shadow’s piercing blue gaze from previously. After spending an entire night perched high in a tree, he finds himself examining the broken hilt. A mixture of anxiety and immobilizing fear arrests, his subconscious, rendering his cramping arm rigid and frozen as he stands up. The sight of Waymar triggers a surge of intrusive thoughts and haunting memories of the commander, whom he had abandoned in a moment of panick. These thoughts rush in, intensifying the anguish already burdening his fragile state. Within the theater of his mind, he envisions the eerie revival of his deceased leader, causing his joints to remain frozen and shattering his sanity. As like the initial incident, the hilt of the sword is within a mere feet of what Will perceives as a blue eye. He is, in fact, observing the larger sapphire on the pommel of Waymar’s sword, while the sapphires on the guard are below his focused field of vision, in his peripheral. Once more, Will’s subconscious, tricked by the terror of a seemingly resurrected Ser Waymar Royce, reconfigures the reality before him. His mind merges the sapphire, situated over Waymar’s right eye, within its socket. The horrifying sight of Waymar's gory injured eye and the blue blur make this amalgamation unmistakably real from Will’s point of view. Furthermore, the sapphires are not only associated with the color of eyes but also with the idea of illusion or deception. A prime example is the so-called "Sapphire Isle" of Tarth, which Brienne of Tarth's father allegedly named to project an illusion of wealth and deter raiders. In the Prologue, Will sees some "pale shapes" moving through the woods while looking for raiders. The "pale shapes" he spots are moonlight reflections from the facets on the sapphire gems in the hilt of Ser Waymar Royce's sword. Earlier, considering Martin's fondness for employing clever wordplay to subtly hint at things, I felt certain that I had stumbled upon a clue. Will, lost amidst the needles of an ancient sentinel tree while searching for a fire, presses his face against the trunk, sticky with sap. It is then that he notices some "pale shapes" gliding through the wood. To put it plainly, Will sees the moonlight reflecting off the facet-shaped reflections while searching for a fire, and his face sticky with tree sap. The words 'sap' and 'fire' present a play on words in that moment, and when combined (sap+fire), I believe they hint at what creates the "pale shapes". That sapphire obscuring Waymar's good eye, another optical illusion, pun intended, also conceals a hint to a broader theme. Waymar is grey-eyed with a grey so dark it appears black at night. His good eye produces an image which symbolizes the Yin within the Yang. His wounded eye, with a pale shaped pupil, is transfixed and full of blood. This blood appears black in the moonlight, a phenomenon known as the Purkinje effect. The image of his injured eye symbolizes the Yang within the Yin. This symbol of Yin/Yang, partly hidden by the sapphire, lends credibility to the ideas being proposed here. This sapphire, concealing the good eye, creates a deception, leading to an irrational conclusion. So if there are no “pale shapes” and no “white shadow”, how does Waymar die?…He doesn’t. In chapter 58 of ADWD, Jon XII, Jon takes special notice of a broken sword with three sapphires in the hilt. The hilt, north of the Wall, was making its way south at Castle Black and is quite possibly the very same hilt once belonging to Ser Waymar’s Royce. This hilt, possibly from the shattered sword that fell from Will’s nerveless fingers, is fixed with three sapphires and seems fitting for a knight, like Ser Waymar Royce, from a respected and influential noble house in the Vale, which pledges its allegiance to House Arryn, whose sigil is a sky-blue falcon. While the exact type and number of jewels on Ser Waymar sword’s hilt is not explicitly stated or revealed in Will's thoughts it nonetheless remains very possible. Indeed, whether it's the close association of the eyes with the sword, the striking similarity of a sapphire to the three blue eyes in the Prologue, the potential wordplay, the apparent illusion and deception represented by the sapphires, or the remarkably similar broken hilt recently uncovered, it's certainly worthwhile to consider the possibilities that might stem from these ideas. Undeniably, a significant portion of these concepts will hinge strongly on the notion that Will's state of mind has been compromised by the fear of his circumstances and his belief in the Old Gods. One might argue that the stars, like the sapphires, have aligned themselves perfectly, as though some unseen cosmic force was ever striving to maintain a balance, a harmony of ice and fire. Lastly, notice there’s no evidence of blue eyes the next time an Other appears on page. Sam’s Other is never described as having blue eyes. Because there’s no hilt?
  12. I see what you mean and agree. Not only do the “Others” not make a sound, they are truly mere figments of Will’s impaired reasoning. You’re right, went you say the ‘shadow’ could actually be more than a metaphor and if you’re thinking “ice magic” is ‘frozen fire’ than your right again. The “white shadow”, like the symbolic imagery of the Yin/Yang symbol suggests, is a mirrored reflection of Ser Waymar Royce himself (the Yang within the Yin). You mention ‘shadow babies’ … Recall Waymar’s “crowing glory”. On one hand the term “crowning” refers to the pride Waymar might have for his cloak; on the Other hand it refers to the stage of labour when a head “emerged from the dark of the wood” The magic that you mention is a mirror. It’s a popular fantasy trope and one that Martin has cleverly woven into the narrative. Frozen fire or volcanic glass is translucent and the only time the “white shadow” vanishes is when Waymar is circling. His cloak and dark hair render his body and all but his face invisible in the blackness of the mirror. A cloak of invisibility is another popular fantasy trope. At first glimpse, only Waymar’s head or face appears in the mirror as he’s circling and then it’s gone. Thus, the use of the term “crowning”. Let me explain, starting where I left off with the dirk…. The thoughts about “dagger” that you found interesting don’t include the dirk’s purpose. Martin uses it as a plot device. It serves to help disorient Ser Waymar Royce. His pirouette also has him lost amongst the grey-green pines. This is the reason he calls up to Will. He knows Will is “up the tree” but he just doesn’t know where the tree is in that moment. Will, too, is disoriented; thanks to being rushed by his commander, the lordling. He is lost amongst the needles and has to turn his head in order to orient himself toward the direction of Waymar’s call. From a narrative point of view it’s important that both characters are unaware of the direction they are looking in so they forget what they are looking at. The Yin/Yang symbol is more than just some symbolic imagery. It is literally the setting of the scene. Waymar is standing in the moonlit half of an ancient caldera. The undulating ridge on its distant edge cast in lunar shadow mimicking that of the Yin/Yang symbol’s sinuous line creating the darkness. The “great rock” is a colossal wall of obsidian obscured in the darkness of the wood. Both Will and Waymar are unaware that they are looking into the otherworldly depth of a black mirror. You mentioned “until they speak”, The voices that sound ‘like the cracking of ice on a winter lake’ and ‘sharp as icicles’ are actually the breaking of this volcanic glass. Will again misperceives what he’s experiencing.
  13. That’s a very good point and one I hadn’t considered. Thanks so much for responding. Perhaps another careful analysis could explain them differently, like it’s been done here with Will simply fainting. I’m not sure about your thoughts on the point of view being a “version” of omniscient narrator. When we accept the unexplained details, such as the knife held in Will’s teeth dropping to a branch when he opened his mouth, as a minor discrepancy than we are missing part of the story. Staying with a strict character POV explains why the knife (dirk) falling receives no accountability. Will never noticed the fact that he dropped it because he was so consumed with the fear of what he was seeing he never realized he dropped it. The dirk falling explains Waymar suddenly calling out, “Who goes there?” and the uncertainty in his challenge. Waymar’s challenge was to no one. He simply heard the impact of snow falling as a result of a small avalanche started from above by the dirk. So when Will thinks ‘The Others made no sound’, they are only a mere figments of his impaired reasoning at that point. Furthermore, the dirk sparks a movement from Waymar which begins to create some important symbolism. In response to the soft impact of falling snow, Waymar, dressed all in black, begins to move in a circular pattern. Set against an icy, moonlit snow-covered ridge, he will come to symbolize the Yin within the Yang. The Yang within the Yin is set to appear from the darkness of the woods in the ensuing moment. There’s other things that the dirk is associated with but I don’t want to belabor the point. As far as the TV show, I’m not sure Gared was the pov character. I can’t remember for sure but I think Gared accompanies both Will and Waymar to the campsite in the TV series. And I know for sure he is decapitated by an otherworldly being.
  14. Waymar's "cold butchery" might yet be significantly less gruesome than what Will seems to realize. The sequence of events surrounding Waymar’s butchery doesn’t make sense. The passage above begins with, >The watchers moved forward together, as if some signal had been given. Then, >Swords rose and fell, all in a deathly silence Supposedly, >It was cold butchery And, >The pale blades sliced through ringmail as if it were silk. And then, >Will closed his eyes. Then lastly, >Far beneath him, he heard their voices and laughter sharp as icicles. Why doesn’t Waymar scream and shriek or call out when swords rise and fall? Why “all in a deathly silence” during the “cold butchery”? And why does ‘Will close his eyes’ after “the pale blades sliced through his ringmail as if it were silk”? It doesn’t make sense, right? Strangely, Waymar, who previously screamed and shrieked in pain when injured, remains silent during his ‘cold butcherng’. This drastic change in the behavior of his reaction may suggest a contradiction worth examining. Following the butchering, why does Will close his eyes? He does this same thing another time… In this passage, it’s presumed by most that Will dies. But we are never truly given that explicitly. We never see him die and we never see his cold dead body later. It’s a cold icy touch and…..... …..nothing. It begs the question, what ultimately happens with Will? He could have fainted for all we know. The point is Will keeps closing his eyes and we're kept in the dark about many details. These details are especially crucial since Waymar rose again. We need more assurance about what Will truly witnessed. As the narrator, Will has proven to be unreliable throughout the entire prologue. For example, he loses his dirk and never tells us because he doesn’t realize it. Did you notice? The dirk is gone. Furthermore, from the passage above… he failed to call down a warning to Waymar, his voice seemingly failing him? It appears he has a tendency to freeze under stress. Following the loss of his dirk and his voice, he begins doubting his own senses after seeing the "white shadow". And so, considering that Will doesn't actually check Waymar's pulse, should we just assume that he's dead? Again here, there are some other things that beg questions. How does lying facedown in the snow, one arm outflung, with his cloak splayed out over him displaying a dozen slashes make him look young? The fetal position? Child pose? To my mind, I wonder if questioning the contradiction between slicing through ringmail as if it were silk and the concept of a "cold butchery" is merely a matter of semantics. The two seem to contrast sharply. One suggests a smooth, effortless, and quiet cut, while the other implies a noisy, brutal, savage act. It's almost as if they butchered him first “all in a deathly silence”, then quietly sliced him up as if preparing lunch meat -. This depiction strikes me as somewhat artificial and another contradiction worth examining. And looking at the scene again, there’s a hundred brittle pieces of a sword scattered around everywhere, spread out like it was raining needles, tiny, not too deadly, land mines set for anyone approaching. Lastly, here’s another question: Could the sword hilt that fell from Will's nerveless fingers, be the very same one that later made its way through the Wall at Castle Black, the one produced by a man and tossed into one of the carts arranged by the stewards? Jon appears to take particular notice of the hilt. The one adorned with three sapphire jewels. Who is the man with the broken hilt? Imagine if Will's memories are nothing more than illusions created by his own mind. He had shut his eyes even before the haunting voices reached his ears. The cold butchering, which never truly occurred, unfolded solely within the depths of his imagination. His cloak, already torn before reaching the ridge, remained unchanged, while his ringmail in reality remains unscathed. And what if Waymar was is alive, his resurrection merely a metaphorical rebirth as he stands tall once more? So first, >Will closed his eyes Then Will hears the voices as the watchers move forward, >The watchers moved forward** together, as if some signal had been given. He hears the broken shards, not voices, sharpe as icicles, being stepped on by the watchers, >Far beneath him, he heard their voices and laughter sharp as icicles. And he never sees or hears anything more, >It was cold butchery. >The pale blades sliced through ringmail as if it were silk. >Swords rose and fell, all in a deathly silence Waymar rises! And his fine cloak is torn, his face is a bloody mess because of the shard in his left eye. His cloak had been torn just before he reaches the top of the ridge by the freshly sharpened branches reaching and tugging on his splendid sable cloak. What about the burning blue pupil, right? It's simple, Will, known for his tendency to freeze under stress, is clutching it in his nerveless fingers while observing it, Waymar come into his view. The sword hilt had a sapphire in its pommel. Will, paralyzed in fear, is holding it with the pommel pointing upward. As Will rose and Waymar comes into view, the gem and Waymar's good eye align perfectly in Will's sight, creating an illusion of an Othered icy blue eye. These things all seem possible considering Will’s mental state. Likely the fiery gem brings to mind a chilling resemblance to the white shadow’s piercing blue gaze from just previously. And after spending an entire night perched high in a tree, he finds himself, mentall, not very sharpe. A mixture of anxiety and immobilizing fear arrests, his subconscious, rendering his cramping arm rigid and frozen as he stands up. The sight of Waymar triggers a surge of intrusive thoughts and haunting memories of the commander, whom he had abandoned in a moment of panick. These thoughts rush in, intensifying the anguish already burdening his fragile state. Within the theater of his mind, he envisions the eerie revival of his deceased leader, causing his joints to remain frozen and shattering his sanity. More thoughts, Was the man at Castle Black Waymar? Possibly… …but a better question might be, why was Waymar laying there in child pose for so long? Or….what about the watchers?
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